Being Available to God
For the last few weeks I’ve been sharing the experiences I had and the things I learned during a season of God’s outpouring. One of the most significant lessons during this time was the importance of being available to God. Being available requires flexibility-something that does not come naturally to me. I am a creature of habit. I love routine, predictability and discipline. This serves me well for the most part. I am like clockwork when it comes to prayer, exercise, devotions, Bible study and Scripture memory. The problem is that I can be so locked into my routines that I miss the opportunity to let the Lord interrupt my plans to accomplish His purposes!
In the first days that God moved, it was as if He took my rigid adherence to my schedule and blew it to pieces. My awareness expanded beyond my routine to the people around me God wanted to touch. I gave God permission to interrupt me whenever He saw fit and He saw fit a lot. This did not always happen without a struggle on my part but this newfound availability led to all kinds of divine appointments.
One morning my wife Char and I were praying together for revival to spread through our public high school in Lebanon. I had a strong sense that we had hit on something close to God’s heart. Spontaneously, we decided to walk around the campus and pray.
Less than a minute into our walk we were met with a congregation member who cried out: “I’m back!” She was referring to the fact that God had lifted her out of depression and restored her joy. On that same walk we stopped by the office of a person who was relatively new to town and informed him that we were there to pray for him. Little did we know that he was concerned that a news story was going to break that could do damage to his work and reputation. He said: “I can’t believe God sent you to me” at this time.
Another time, we stopped by the high school and were asked by an employee how we could be helped. Not having a definite plan, I inquired about a particular principal. We were ushered into her office as if by an angel. We simply told her that we were there to pray for her. With tears in her eyes she shared the pressures and stresses of her work. She said that no one had ever done anything like this for her. She was deeply touched.
On another occasion I was sitting in a restaurant and I noticed the personal business office of a local government official across the street. I did not know this person but felt prompted to enter his place of business and offer to pray for him. His secretary was reluctant to give me access to him because he had been under heavy public criticism and feared that I would be one more critic. She reluctantly let me in. My offer to pray for him led him to share that he was discouraged and was considering resigning from his position. Our conversation and prayer together encouraged him to endure.
Through these and many other “divine appointments”, I learned in a fresh new way the importance of being available to the Lord. God kept bringing me to the right place at the right time. How about you? Will you choose to live with a sense of expectancy that the Lord is at work around you? And will you choose to be fully available to Him so that He can accomplish His purposes through you?
Copyright Ed Skipper 2013